At a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $549.0 billion, new construction starts in November were up 1% from October, according to McGraw-Hill Construction Dodge, a division of The McGraw-Hill Companies. Improved contracting was reported for nonresidential building and public works, outweighing a slight loss of momentum for residential building. During the first eleven months of 2003, total construction activity was up 3% compared to a year ago.
"The construction industry has picked up the pace in recent months," stated Robert A. Murray, vice president of economic affairs for McGraw-Hill Construction Dodge. "For most of 2003, single family housing has been the industry mainstay, and there are now signs of improvement being shown by other sectors after a weak start to the year. Moving into 2004, the continued improvement by such sectors as commercial building and transportation public works would help offset the modest retreat expected for single family housing."